In the New Testament there are two primary words used for Temple. Hieron (ἱερόν), which describes the temple as a whole and Naos (ναός), the Holy of Holies. This is the inner chamber where God dwells as described in the building of the Temple in Exodus 26:33 as holy of the holies (קֹ֥דֶשׁ הַקֳּדָשִֽׁים), where the ark of the covenant resided and only the High Priest was permitted to enter in once a year to make a sacrifice for the whole nation (Hebrews 9:7).
In Matthew, Jesus calls out the foolishness of the religious leaders who had no issue with someone swearing by the Holy of Holies and breaking their promise, but if they swore by the gold of the Holy of Holies then they were obligated to keep their word (Matthew 23:16). They had the same twisted allegiance to the sacrifice rather than the altar. Yet, the one swearing by the altar also swears by all that is on it, and the one swearing by the Holy of Holies also swears by the One who dwells in it (Matthew 23:20).
In one of Satan’s attempts to lure Jesus into acting independently from God the Father, he takes Him up to the pinnacle of the Temple, Matthew 4:5. His intent was to get Jesus to tempt God by casting Himself off the Temple, for Scripture states that His angels will protect Him. The tempting of God is not appropriate, for God cannot be tempted and tempts no one (James 1:13); therefore, Jesus rebukes Satan for even suggesting it (Matthew 4:7). In seeking to accuse Jesus, the Pharisees seeing His disciples picking grain and eating it as they pass through a grainfield on the Sabbath, tried to call […]